Building healthy communities through medical-religious partnerships

by W. Daniel Hale PhD


Building Healthy Communities through Medical-Religious Partnerships describes an innovative approach to the development of community-based health education and patient advocacy programs targeted at the prevention and management of disease. Partnerships between health systems and religious congregations, the authors show, can be remarkably successful at bringing appropriate care to people who are often difficult to serve. Describing programs based on a six-year collaboration between health care systems and religious organizations in Florida, the book offers valuable guidance for religious and medical leaders interested in developing similar programs in their congregations and communities.

Building Healthy Communities through Medical-Religious Partnerships includes practical and easily accessible information for establishing health education programs as well as important topics to consider. It also provides examples of specific programs and information about additional resources that can be obtained from local and national organizations. Medical topics include coronary heart disease, hypertension, cancer, diabetes, depression, dementia, prevention programs on influenza and pneumonia, accidents and falls, and medication management. The authors include information about preparing advance directives and establishing patient advocacy or health partners programs, which train individuals within a congregation to assist other members who may not have relatives or close friends to help them navigate a complex health system.

"This book describes a new approach to community-based health programs―the formation of alliances between health care organizations and religious congregations... Medical-religious partnerships can harness the energies of committed members of religious communities and couple that energy with information and knowledge provided by health care professionals."―from Building Healthy Communities through Medical-Religious Partnerships

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